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Everything Is You
Thomas: Dear James, I’ve plowed through the whole DVD series now. It really has clarified almost all confusion after 20 years of spiritual search and all the AA stuff. I sit and watch every night when the kid and wife have gone to sleep.
You have not replied to my recent emails, either because you think I’m just babbling or bugging you too much. Sorry, I can be like that sometimes, a rajasic dry drunk. ☺ I was not aware of your condition and the operation. I really hope you are recovering well.
James: Hi, Thomas. I am sorry that I have not replied but as you know I have been very busy and my bypass surgery meant that I did not have the energy to keep up with my ShiningWorld duties. If you have questions please write, and if I don’t have time, my wife Sundari will reply. Or you can write one of the other ShiningWorld writers, Isaiah or Ted. If you sign up for the newsletter you will be informed of my situation.
Thomas: There is more or less total clarity of what the self is now, and I know I must be it, but there seems to be further clearing up going on by itself without any effort.
James: This is very good. The knowledge is indirect now. With continued contemplation it will become direct, i.e. total clarity will come and your confidence will be unassailable. I am happy to hear that the purification is going on automatically now. It means that you have assimilated the knowledge.
Thomas: One question: the self is the conscious factor without qualities, “pure” consciousness. When reflected in a body it becomes a person. The person learns along its timeline, including language and notions of separation (and Vedanta), and learns to credit a huge value to unreal things such as concepts, imagination, past and future, etc.
The person learns facts, but the self does not know any facts at all aside from making knowledge of facts possible. Any facts/learning has only meaning to the person. The self just is. Is this correct?
James: This is correct, Thomas. You have understood well.
Thomas: I’m thinking about what you said about children: they are the light and blissful, but dumb as a loaf of bread. Before the learning of ignorance has gone into full bloom as adults, can one really say they are dumb? Or are they just not yet self-ignorant enough to be in need of “self-knowledge”?
James: I meant that they don’t know who they are when I said they are dumb. Of course they are the self and they may be very intelligent, but self-knowledge only happens later, once they have suffered from their ignorance long enough.
Thomas: This thing about what’s real is quite scary; there is A LOT of things that I am not. Almost everything. ☺
James: Not almost. Everything. But if you think about it from a different perspective, the fear goes away. If the self is everything and you are the self then you are everything. This is the next stage now that you have negated everything (almost). Think about where everything is. If it is you, it cannot be apart from you. If you analyze your experience you will see that everything you experience is you.
Thomas: Would love to visit you guys in Westerwald this spring if I get the chance. Take care, blessings to you and Sundari.
James: I hope you come, Thomas. It really helps to hear it in person.~ Much love, James